Ex parte defamation decree against two journalists set aside

CHITRAL: A court here on Friday set aside an ex parte defamation decree against two journalists of ChitralToday.

The additional district and sessions judge ruled that the decree dated March 22, 2017, was announced without hearing the editor and chief report of the online newspaper.

After setting aside the decree, the judge ordered that the case would be heard afresh from July 22.

The defamation case was filed by one Zuhran Shah after the newspaper published a report about a protest held by people of Khuz in upper Chitral early in 2014.

The protesters said an AKES community-based school in their village was being relocated to another village at the behest of the AKES senior officials.

The protesters alleged that Zuhran Shah had been sacked as general manger AKES Chitral on corruption charges but he was still calling the shots in the organization and responsible for the relocation of their school.

ChitralToday counsel Afzal Nageen Advocate had earlier contended before the court that the summons were sent to his clients on a wrong address and the decree was announced without fulfilling basic principles of justice.

He said as soon as the two Islamabad-based journalists knew about the decree in 2017, they approached the court and filed an application to contest the case.

The hearing of their plea started in June 2017 and continued till the court reserved its judgment about three weeks ago.

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